Interprovincial Music Camp

Creativity Hours: 30 Hours

Service Hours: 6 Hours

This summer, I was able to participate in the Interprovincial Music Camp. I spent one week in a camp outside of Parry Sound, and I was learning about jazz and experimenting with different styles, including improvisation, in both a combo (band of about 7 or so other musicians) and a big band (band of about 20 musicians). I was there as a vocalist, and so I spent mornings in a vocal warmup, followed by a masterclass, which focused on technique and style, as well as jazz history, then spent afternoons in combo and big band rehearsal, focusing on collaboration with the other musicians and performance. I joined because I had never done jazz before and I wanted to try something new. As such my goal for this activity was to push my own boundaries. My Learning Outcomes were Undertaking new challenges, Working collaboratively with others, and Develop new skills.

Being in such a small area with so many fantastic musicians made collaboration really very easy. If there was some music I was struggling with, I could go to any other vocalist, we would hunt down a piano, and work on it together. If there was a piece for big band that had two vocalists but one vocal line, we would work together to develop a harmony. In this way, all of us were eager to help each other and push each other forward as musicians.

My goals were achieved more organically than I had expected. Speaking as someone who likes to have everything under control, and who likes to have a plan, the idea of improvisational jazz had always intrigued me but terrified me. At IMC, I learned to scat. It was terrifying to do infront of people for the final performance, but after a while, in rehearsals and masterclasses, I feel like I was reasonable comfortable scatting. I found there were certain ideas that I could hold on to, but most of it was just surrendering myself to whatever ideas popped up in my head.

For me, there were no low points to this experience. The high point, however, encapsulated all that this experience was for me. The entire camp and pianos available for use scattered around, and so often a group of us would find a piano and play around. We would sing some jazz standards, do a bit of scatting, and enjoy ourselves and the company. It was on one of these breaks that a group of horn players popped in and found us there, and rather than leaving, they stopped. At first they only listened, but not long after they began to join in, and play with us. That moment, of no expectations, no rehearsal, just music for music’s sake, was a landmark moment for me.

Over this experience, I learned about the value of trusting myself, and as a result, I think I am a much more relaxed person than I was going in. At the same time, I still feel very inexperienced in this field, and want to continue to better myself in this field. I don’t think I would do anything differently, because my time at IMC shaped the kind of musician I want to become.

View Videos from the Final Performance here:


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